Silverstone: Qualifying press conference

Bianchi, Maldonado and Vietoris discuss the session GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Silverstone. Joining us from pole position is Jules Bianchi from ART Grand Prix, in...

Bianchi, Maldonado and Vietoris discuss the session

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Silverstone. Joining us from pole position is Jules Bianchi from ART Grand Prix, in second place we have Pastor Maldonado from Rapax, and in third we have Christian Vietoris from Racing Engineering. Jules, congratulations on a strong drive to pole today in a very difficult session: how was it from inside the car?

Jules Bianchi: It was really difficult! The first set was okay, but my teammate Sam was really quick, and then we improved a lot and for the second set we changed the car a bit, but not much. I'm really happy because we did a really good job: between this morning and qualifying the car was really good, so I could push really hard to make a good lap.

GP2 Series: On the first set you were up there, but there was a good improvement on the second set: what was the difference?

Jules: I think it was a good lap but not perfect, because in the first sector I made a mistake and lost maybe two tenths from my best, but also I think Pastor could do better because when you look at the sectors he was a bit quicker, so we have to do a bit of work before tomorrow to improve the car and make it a bit more stable at the rear.

GP2 Series: There seemed to be a lot of traffic: was that the biggest problem with setting a good lap today?

Jules: Yeah, it was difficult to do a good lap without traffic because there were a lot of drivers who crashed or went off the track, so it was difficult to have everything together in the same lap. But I did it well, my engineer told me where were the other drivers, and so I had one cool lap and when I pushed I was alone, so it was good.

GP2 Series: And for tomorrow?

Jules: Tomorrow ... well, it's my second pole: in Barcelona I did a mistake at the start and then I crashed, and so I will try to take all the experience from the beginning of the season to not make any mistakes, and to try to win. We start from pole position, so it would be good to take the first victory of the season.

GP2 Series: Hopefully it goes a bit better than Barcelona then! [laughs] Well done today. Pastor, congratulations on P2 today: how was your session?

Pastor Maldonado: It was good: I was really strong from the beginning, but I'm a bit disappointed for the pole because I had a bit of traffic twice. Anyway, I'm on the first row for tomorrow, and that's really important for me for the championship, and I'm happy because here we are very constant, the car is good, the team is working good, and tomorrow is going to be a very important race for us: we must do well, and for sure we'll try to win.

GP2 Series: In the last few minutes of the session it looked like you were on for pole, but the lap fell away: was that traffic, or something else?

Pastor: I got traffic at the last corner, with Cecotto: I lifted a lot. But anyway it's always difficult in GP2 qualifying to get a clean lap, as you say, and for sure in this configuration of the track it's a bit more difficult because it's very quick, and then in the last sector it's very slow, so everybody stops at the last corner to have a clean lap after, and I was not lucky today! [laughs] But anyway, it was good.

GP2 Series: Do you think the new lay out contributes to the traffic problem?

Pastor: Even before it was a bit complicated with traffic because everyone slowed down at the last corner to make some space, to have a clear lap, and I was just a bit unlucky on my quick lap and didn't put all my sectors together. But it was very strong, my lap: very clear and strong.

GP2 Series: Does the new lay out give you any challenges in setting up the car?

Pastor: Not so much: it is just some more long straights, so the aero configuration is changing a little, but basically it's more or less the same. It's very different, the new section of the track, because the grip is completely new, but we have to deal with that: I think the track just needs some more races to be at the top [condition].

GP2 Series: Any thoughts for tomorrow?

Pastor: I'm confident for tomorrow, I have very good pace for the race, the team is good at pitstops: it's not easy for everybody, but I think it's going to be good. I have a good position, and for the championship it is good, for the team too: we will do our best, and we will see.

GP2 Series: Good job today. Christian, congratulations on your job today, and joining us for your first press conference: talk us through your session today.

Christian Vietoris: I'm at Silverstone for my first time today, and I needed to learn the track in free practice, which went quite well, I think: P6 or P5, and we knew we could do better in qualifying, which we did. Unfortunately we take over a penalty from Valencia, which is a ten place penalty and does not make my life any easier! [laughs] It fits into the season, and in Barcelona as well we had a good qualifying with P4, Monaco we had technical problems, same in Istanbul, always something is happening but hopefully we can lose it now. After the performance we had we are always on the pace: unfortunately I will lose my clean air from the front, so it will make my race harder, but we can fight for a position in the top eight, and then a good position for Sunday.

GP2 Series: I think from memory this is the first time you've beaten your teammate in qualifying...

Christian: No, actually it is the third time I did it this season! [laughs]

GP2 Series: Well clearly I don't know what I'm talking about then! [laughs] But it is certainly your best qualifying so far, and often the new guys struggle to sort out their qualifying in GP2: does this mean you're on top of it now?

Christian: Well as a rookie it is hard to get used to the tyres, because you only have two laps altogether, and to manage the traffic it is not easy, so it's a question of experience that we all need to gain. As well for us earlier in the season we have been quite unlucky: we have always been quick but we just couldn't show it, and now I hope that we can turn it around.

GP2 Series: What can you do tomorrow?

Christian: Well we have to do something good to make up for all those lost positions: that must be the goal, to make up all the positions, and we have some long straights to go for moves, and maybe with the pitstop we can get into the top eight.

-source: gp2

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Pastor Maldonado , Christian Vietoris , Jules Bianchi
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Rapax